Hunters and Anglers are ‘Economic Powerhouse’
Bass Pro Shops event features free seminars, craft activities and more
The Fall Hunting Classics are a tradition at Bass Pro Shops and an event that nearly 7 million people are expected to attend this year. Why is this important? “Because hunting is big business,” says Bass Pro Shops spokeswoman Katie Mitchell.
And, indeed it is. A report by the Congressional Sportsmen Foundation cites America’s 34 million hunters and anglers are an economic powerhouse—spending some $8.6 million an hour. If this $76 billion-a-year industry were a corporation it would be among America’s 20 largest, ahead of Target, Costco and AT&T.
“The Bass Pro Shops Fall Classic is a huge event and hunters and other outdoor sportsmen and -women look forward to it all year long, said Mitchell. “Outdoor enthusiasts will be able to learn the secret techniques and strategies used by professionals to gain a better advantage in the field, see all the latest products and attend workshops and seminars. And, there is a ‘ripple effect’ as other area retailers, gas stations, hotels and restaurants benefit as well from the increased traffic the Classic generates,” Mitchell added.
This 17-day event will be held August 5th through August 21st at 52 Bass Pro Shops retail locations across the United States and Canada and it is all free.
Hunting and fishing sportsmen directly support 1.6 million jobs, spend more than a billion dollars just on licenses, stamps, tags and permits, and they generate $25 billion a year in federal, state and local taxes. More than 12.5 million hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts pump $24.9 billion into the economy each year.
But the buck doesn’t stop there. It is vitally important that today’s youth get involved in the outdoors so they can become the stewards and conservationists of tomorrow to insure the maintenance and well-being of our natural resources. “I’ve heard it said that if you don’t have a fishing rod in the hands of a youngster by the time they are 8 years old, the chances of getting them to go fishing later in life diminishes dramatically,” said Mitchell. “I would think the same applies to getting them introduced to hunting and shooting sports,” she continued.
This is important because the sale of hunting licenses, tags and stamps is the primary source of funding for most state wildlife conservation efforts. Hunters and anglers have always been, and continue to be, the largest contributors to government wildlife conservation programs. Through excise taxes and license revenues, these sportsmen have contributed more than $10 billion dollars to conservation and provide more than 80% of the funding for most state fish and wildlife agencies. Just from hunters alone, nearly $200 million in hunters’ federal excise taxes are distributed to State agencies to support wildlife each year.
(All statistics are from the Congressional Sportsman’s Foundation report “Hunting and Fishing: Bright Stars of the American Economy ~ A force as big as all outdoors.” It can be accessed online at www.sportsmenslink.org)
Some of the special events during the Bass Pro Shops 2011 Fall Hunting Classic include:
• Aug. 5-7 – Bass Pro Shops Free Hunting University. Nationally recognized professional hunters and outdoorsmen will be at stores to give seminars and talk about their experiences. Friday 5-9pm Saturday and Sunday Noon – 5pm (Visit www.basspro.com/classic on July 28th or later for individual store location listing of seminar pros, topics and times)
• Aug. 5-9 – Binocular Trade-In. Trade in your old pair of binoculars and save on any new binocular purchase. See a store associate for details
• Aug.10-15—Scope Trade-In. Need a new scope? Trade in yours and save on a new one. See store associate for details.
• Aug. 12-14—Hunter Appreciation Weekend. Learn tips and techniques for a more successful day in the field by attending free seminars Friday 6-8pm, Saturday 1-5pm and Sunday 1-4pm. Enter to win a $25 Bass Pro Shops gift cards to be given away at every seminar. And don’t forget to “Take the Pledge”—and pass along the passion, tradition and heritage by taking someone hunting. First 100 customers to take the pledge each day August 12-14 will receive a free Bass Pro Shops keychain.
• Aug. 13-14—ATV Test Drive. Noon to 5pm. Try out suspension and steering capabilities of ATV’s. Must show valid driver’s license prior to test drive. Complete the course and enter the drawing for a chance to win a prize. (Available at select stores)
• Aug. 16-21—Bow Trade-In. Been wanting a new bow? Now’s the time to get one! Trade in your old one and save. See store associate for details.
• Aug. 20-21 – Next Generation Weekend. Noon to 5pm. New this year—Kids can take the Deer Camp Challenge. Other activities include Free youth seminars (1:30pm and 3:30pm Camping Basics, 2:30pm and 4:30pm Archery Basics), paintball cage, (*in stores where available), deer mosaic craft 1-3pm (while supplies last). Youth will receive a punch card to be punched once for every activity they complete. Once the card is full youth will receive a “Bass Pro Shops Next Generation” logo water bottle holder (while supplies last).
• Aug. 20-21 – PictureU Free Photo. Picture yourself on the cover of an Outdoor Life Magazine! Saturday and Sunday Noon – 5pm
In addition, customers will be able to register August 5th – 21st for a sweepstakes to win a Grand Prize of a Colorado Wilderness Elk Hunt sponsored by Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (visit www.basspro.com/classic on July 28th or later for details) valued at $11,000.00 (U.S). $10,775.00 (CAD). Plus, one winner in every store will win a RedHead® Hunting Gear Package with a retail value of $570.00 (US), $750.00 (CAD) that includes a RedHead deluxe gear bag, Enigma Hub-Style hunting blind, Epic binoculars, RedHead 12-can soft side cooler, RedHead caliber waist packs and RedHead bow/rifle pack.(Contest rules: Customers may also enter to win online at www.basspro.com. 52 First Place winners will be drawn and one Grand Prize winner will be drawn nationally. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR CLAIM PRIZE. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and District of Columbia who are 18 years of age or older at time of entry. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes begins 08/05/11 and ends 08/21/11.)
For more information on the free Bass Pro Shops Fall Hunting Classic go to www.basspro.com/classic.
About Bass Pro Shops Group:
Bass Pro Shops -56 retail stores in 26 states and Canada visited by over 110 million people annually, international catalog and internet retailing, American Rod & Gun wholesale division selling to over 7,000 independently owned retail stores worldwide, Outdoor World Incentives also selling Bass Pro Shops gift cards through over 132,000 retail outlets across America and a restaurant division with 26 locations. For more information regarding Bass Pro Shops store locations, products or special events, please visit www.basspro.com. To request a free catalog call 1-800-BASS PRO. Visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bassproshops or Twitter at twitter.com/#!/bass_pro_shops
Tracker Marine Group – Manufactures and sells Tracker, Nitro, SunTracker, Tahoe and Mako boats through Bass Pro Shops retail stores and over 400 dealers worldwide. Visit www.trackerboats.com
Resort Group – Big Cedar Lodge and other resort properties including restaurants and golf course. Visit www.bigcedar.com for more information.